Monday, 21 July 2008

Books to read in hospital

I'm trying frantically to get my desk (and my mind) clear before Thursday 24th, as I am then, in theory, due to go into hospital to have my nose mended. I am only in overnight (again in theory) but I have a dilemma - what do I take in to read?

I am halfway through Rosy Thornton's Hearts and Minds, for which many thanks to Juliet. I am thoroughly enjoying this portrait of the poisonous politicking of student and staff, but I fear I will have finished it before Thursday, and I know I don't have the discipline to leave the book alone now I've got my teeth into it.

On my bedside table is the very unfinished The Blair Years, which is not quite the thing when you are on your bed of pain and want your mind taken off life, rather than being so irritated you burst your stitches. I keep picking this up, reading a few pages and then putting it down again, so desperate with the longing to give all the major characters a sharp slap that I can go no further.

I don't want to take a precious book in case I lose it/drop it in my supper/bleed all over it/hurl it in fury at the next person who asks if I am in for a nose job (no - my undistinguished but basically OK nose should stay pretty much the same. I hope.)

If I hadn't read absolutely everything Dick Francis has ever written many times, I'd take one of those.

So, what I'm after is something that doesn't take dragoons of concentration. Which means Keirkegaard is out - as is anything edgy, modern and difficult. Anything tear jerking is out, so Black Beauty will stay at home, as will Rosalind Belben's Our Horses In Egypt, which won't actually stay at home as I haven't actually got one yet: haven't yet got it any further than my BookRabbit checkout.

If you have any suggestions, please tell me. It will be one less thing for me to be twitchy about!

4 comments:

Juliet said...

Jane - very best of luck for Thursday! I have just searched your blog for 'nose' because you first mentioned it before I had discovered BM&C.

There's just something about rounders, isn't there? My nose has a bump in it for exactly the same reason. It was Alison Maynard wot did it to me when I was six. I'd been off school on the day of my class's first-ever rounders lesson, so I didn't know what to do. I hit the ball and turned round to the next batter, by then standing behind me, to ask 'where do I go now?' Both she and the bowler completely ignored my presence and carried on as if I were invisble, so the bat hit my face and the ball hit the back of my head. Talk about double whammy!

Glad you're enjoying Hearts & Minds. But what to replace it? Hmmm. Can't think of anything horsey, but authors I can always trust to be completely snuggleable-down with while confined to bed or barracks are Kate Atkinson, Anita Shreve, Maggie O'Farrell (oh, and I recently re-read my way through several Mary Wesleys and found them surprisingly delicious from my now more 'mature' perspective).

Maybe you should also take along your lovely Penguin Classic? If you're not going to tackle it while you're a captive audience, I'm not sure that you ever will!

Gillian said...

I recommend Jasper Fforde's books (I recemmonded them for every occasion, to almost everyone I know, actually).

Very readable, funny, imaginative, very appealing to lovers of books and the English language. Start with the first of the Thursday Next books, 'The Eyre Affair'.
The audience participation version (a la 'Rocky Horror Show') of 'Richard III' is a delight.

Gillian said...

Oh, and I meant to say, best wishes for the operation.

callmemadam said...

Good luck tomorrow! I should take an iPod if you have one.